Although it should come as a surprise to no one, based on its ratings and cultural currency, FX has officially renewed Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s hit anthology series American Horror Story for seventh installment. Currently in the middle of their sixth season, subtitled My Roanoke Nightmare, the show has delivered record high ratings for the network, ratings that were only topped by the previous two installments of the series, Freak Show and Hotel.
In a statement, FX Networks President John Landgraf said “Ryan, Brad and their team of remarkable writers have done an amazing job of keeping American Horror Story endlessly inventive, shocking and entertaining and we are honored to move ahead with them on the seventh installment. The sustained success through six installments only proves how intensely the series resonates with fans.”
This season of American Horror Story has been a bit different than the previous five. Although much of the regular AHS ensemble cast have returned, the format switched up somewhat to reflect reality horror shows like Paranormal Witness. A lot of the campy humor from previous seasons seems to be gone, and this year the show has mostly just been straight up scary. This season has also been subtly referencing back to all the previous seasons of the show, reminding fans that all of the AHS seasons are somehow tied together.
Although AHS usually premieres in the fall of each year, recently Ryan Murphy revealed that he is working on a “secret season” of AHS, saying “I don’t know when it will [air] but it’s also an experiment. It’s a different way of doing it. It’s one person writing all episodes. I don’t know if it’s going to work but it’s like, well, let’s try that. We might get them done and shoot them on the sly and drop it. It’s like a 2-year-project that we’ll continue to work on the sly and not tell anyone.” Could season seven be that secret season, and just drop in the middle of the year with no warning or build up? That would be pretty cool and unprecedented for TV.
Even so, what could AHS season seven be about? Well, one of the most popular theories out there is that AHS as a whole is based on Dante’s Inferno. For those of you who never had to read it in school, in Dante’s Inferno, Dante goes through the infamous “nince circles of Hell”, with each circle dedicated to a specific sin: Limbo, Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Anger, Heresy, Violence, Fraud and Treachery. Within each circle, the souls of the sinners are subjected to a punishment specific to their crime. This would explain why we see the same actors over and over again on the show as different characters – they are the same souls, going through different layers of Hell.
The prevailing theory is that Murder House represents Lust, Asylum: Fraud, Coven: Treachery, Freak Show: Greed, and Hotel: Gluttony. That could mean we have at least nine seasons of AHS, leaving Anger, Heresy, Violence and Limbo, with one of those pertaining to this current season, although it might be to early to tell what it is. As to what genre of horror it’ll tackle, that’s anyone’s guess. But AHS has yet to cover the slasher genre, or werewolves, or even zombies. So there are plenty of horror subgenres left for Ryan Murphy and company to tackle. I just hope they somehow manage to bring Jessica Lange back for at least one of them.
Are you excited about another installment of American Horror Story? And what genre of horror would you like to see next? Let us know down below in the comments.
Images: FX Networks